Can Mage Hand drag more weight than it can carry?

I have been watching/listening to Chance’s D&D Spellbook, which highlights a potential ‘loophole’ in that the spell doesn’t list how much the hang can drag, say if attached via a rope that weighs less than 10lbs.

Normally a spell only does what it says, but carrying and dragging seem closely enough related that there might be some room for interpretation.

How can I enforce a low-power level in Mage: The Ascension?

I’m preparing for a Mage:The Ascension game as a storyteller. While my players and I enjoy many aspects of Mage and World of Darkness in general, we would like a much lower power level than seems baseline for Mage.

We aren’t interested in traipsing through other planes of existence with seeming god-like powers. The chronicle is shooting for a grittier, low-adventure setting where many challenges are solved through mundane skills, perhaps supported by magic.

As a relatively new storyteller, I’m not sure how to create this effect in my chronicle. There are a few tools that seem readily at hand, but I’m not sure which (if any) are going to help reach my goals without breaking something else in the game. My current ideas:

  • Award experience more slowly than recommended (so powers don’t get out of hand too quickly)
  • Place hard caps on magical spheres, arete, and probably other things
  • Limit freebie points, maximum spheres, and other things during character creation

How can I reduce the power of player-mages in my chronicle to create a low-adventure game without inadvertently hampering some other aspect of the game?

What happens if a mage dies with multiple clones?

Imagine that a PC has created multiple clones, through the casting of clone, each matured.

What happens when that PC dies and declares his soul willing to go to each clone? I understand that the character could avoid this problem by declaring himself only willing to go to one particular clone, but if he did not, what would happen?

Would he occupy his first clone? The most recent? A random one? One of the player’s choosing? DM’s choosing? Or is it just DM perview?

Prime sphere requirements to use Tass in Mage 20th Anniversary Edition

I’m confused about what level of Prime is required to use Tass in the Mage 20th Anniversary Edition rules.

In the main rulebook the following statements are made:

M20 Rulebook:

  • p 332: “To absorb Quintessence energy from the materialized Quintessence of Tass requires Prime 3.”

  • p 520: Prime 1 sphere description says: “A beginning study of Prime allows the mage to perceive and channel Quintessence from Nodes, Tass, …”

  • p 520: Prime 3 sphere description says: “… the Prime-skilled mage can draw both free and raw Quintessence from Nodes, Junctures (special times) and Tass …”

How do you DO That Rulebook says:

  • pp. 43-45: “Any mage with an Avatar Background cab absorb that Background’s worth of Quintessence from a Node or Tass …”

First off – are there ways to use Tass other than absorbing the Quintessence into your pattern? Can you spend Tass to gain Quintessence effects like lowering the difficulty of a roll without absorbing it into your pattern?

And with regard to what levels of Prime are required to do these things, I can see support for any of these positions:

  1. You don’t need any Prime at all to absorb Quintessence from Tass into your pattern, as “Any mage with an Avatar Background” can do it (How do you DO That pp. 43-45)
  2. You need Prime 1, as the description for that sphere says Prime 1 allows you to channel Quintessence from Tass. (M20 p. 520)
  3. You need Prime 3, as that is stated on M20 p. 332 and p. 520 explicitly

I have reviewed other answers at: How does the Prime Sphere affect gaining and storing Quintessence in M20? but it left me more confused than enlightented.

From a gameplay perspective, requiring Prime 3 to use Tass seems to defeat much of the purpose of Tass – as it can’t be readily exchanged between mages as portable Quintessence unless they have Prime 3.

Can I use an animated shield with the Mage Armor spell?

My question is an extension of this question.

Does the animated shield count as being armored for the mage armor spell?

Based on mage armor‘s description (emphasis mine):

You touch a willing creature who isn’t wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends. The target’s base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. The spell ends if the target dons armor or if you dismiss the spell as an action.

I’d assume you would have to cast mage armor after activating the shield and when you retrieve the shield you lose the mage armor, effectively reducing mage armor‘s time durability to a single combat.

To counter the possible duplicate: I am asking about the animated shield magic item, not the 1st-level shield spell.

Does the Mage Hand cantrip pass through solid surfaces?

Last session, my Arcane Trickster was faced with some murky water and we needed to know how deep the bottom was. I decided to use mage hand to try to locate the bottom of the water without putting my own hand in there, but then we were stuck with the question: would my mage hand just float straight through the bottom?

Another way of wording this question would be “does mage hand go through walls”?

The spell says:

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range.

But exactly what the hand is is not described any further. Does spectral mean “float through walls” like an incorporeal ghost, or is it spectral only in the sense that it’s not a creature or an object? Either way, if the caster sent the hand through a wall or the floor, would it go through or just bump up against the wall?